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Journal of Interdisciplinary Feminist Thought

Disciplines

Women's Studies

Abstract

The idea that the underrepresentation of women in scientific fields stems from inherent sex differences in scientific abilities has recently re-emerged. We critically examine the argument for biological differences in these abilities, focusing on two central claims: 1) There exist measurable sex differences in mathematical and scientific aptitude, and 2) biological predispositions underlie these differences. A review of the research reveals that findings of differences in math and science performance are not reliable and depend on the measures used. Furthermore, the key evidence for biological predispositions comes from poorly designed studies with equivocal findings. Therefore, our review indicates that the underrepresentation of women in scientific fields cannot be explained by biological sex differences.

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